Tile bedding

ChinsForLife

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Getting a baby (8 week old) chinchilla and im worried about the coming summer...I have an AC and getting a chinchiller but I don't want her to overheat as I live in a fairly warm climate (Texas). @Amethyst recommended fleece, which I was planning on doing the 2nd floor fleece but I'm thinking about (atleast while she's little) getting a cooling tile floor. I'm getting the single level critter nation cage for now and getting the second when she is a little older. Here are my questions...
What type of tile do i need?
I know I need waterproof tile.
Could @Amethyst or somebody else help me find the right tile to use?
1. Has to be waterproof
2. Can't be slippery (I think granite is)
3. Needs to be fairly inexpensive
Here is the link to the hardware store👇
 
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Amethyst

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Tile can be a bit tricky, the best way I've seen it done is, remove the plastic pans, and take a piece of thick plastic like these Corrugated Plastic Sheets - Glass & Plastic Sheets - The Home Depot cut it to the right size for the floor, and then get tiles cut to fit on top of that so that if the pee it's plastic under it making it easy to clean. The cheapest are ceramic or porcelain tile, they are light enough weight and don't require being sealed like stone does.

What I do though, since I don't have the tools or money to get tiles cut is to use fleece liners on the pans, and they put a few tiles on top of the fleece, that way the plastic pans are covered so they aren't chewed, but there are tiles they can sit on if they want. You can even get large tiles if you want to cover a larger area, so it's cheaper and way easier they having tiles cut to the right size for the cage.

Here is the measurements for the different floors.
123405474_3460419743993974_2511475300058700628_o.jpg

The pros of the fleece is it's easy to wash, it's cheap if you can make them yourself, and since you just cover the existing pans, it's cheaper then tile since you just cover the existing pans rather then paying to have plastic sheets and tile cut. Also you can get different designs for different holidays and seasons. You can just lay tiles on it for cool spot while still having the softer fleece areas for the chin to sit on (think carpet vs tile floors). The cons though are they can smell fairly quickly if peed on so you may need to be washed daily. Also if the chin decides to be one that chews fleece it's no longer safe to use.

The pros of tile are they are easy to sweep if the chin is litter trained to pee in a pan, and even an accident is easy to wipe up. Tile is probably cheaper in the long run since it's just one expense and possibly needing to replace any broken tiles over time, where as fleece you need at least 2 sets and they do wear out over time. The cons though are if the chin is not pee trained then they can get pee all over them. You have to get the tiles cut, which requires a tile cutter, that may or may not be a problem, but you can't just buy the right size tiles, as you see above the measurements aren't exact inches and the tiles need to fit snug or they can pinch toes.
 

ChinsForLife

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Tile can be a bit tricky, the best way I've seen it done is, remove the plastic pans, and take a piece of thick plastic like these Corrugated Plastic Sheets - Glass & Plastic Sheets - The Home Depot cut it to the right size for the floor, and then get tiles cut to fit on top of that so that if the pee it's plastic under it making it easy to clean. The cheapest are ceramic or porcelain tile, they are light enough weight and don't require being sealed like stone does.

What I do though, since I don't have the tools or money to get tiles cut is to use fleece liners on the pans, and they put a few tiles on top of the fleece, that way the plastic pans are covered so they aren't chewed, but there are tiles they can sit on if they want. You can even get large tiles if you want to cover a larger area, so it's cheaper and way easier they having tiles cut to the right size for the cage.

Here is the measurements for the different floors.
View attachment 21298

The pros of the fleece is it's easy to wash, it's cheap if you can make them yourself, and since you just cover the existing pans, it's cheaper then tile since you just cover the existing pans rather then paying to have plastic sheets and tile cut. Also you can get different designs for different holidays and seasons. You can just lay tiles on it for cool spot while still having the softer fleece areas for the chin to sit on (think carpet vs tile floors). The cons though are they can smell fairly quickly if peed on so you may need to be washed daily. Also if the chin decides to be one that chews fleece it's no longer safe to use.

The pros of tile are they are easy to sweep if the chin is litter trained to pee in a pan, and even an accident is easy to wipe up. Tile is probably cheaper in the long run since it's just one expense and possibly needing to replace any broken tiles over time, where as fleece you need at least 2 sets and they do wear out over time. The cons though are if the chin is not pee trained then they can get pee all over them. You have to get the tiles cut, which requires a tile cutter, that may or may not be a problem, but you can't just buy the right size tiles, as you see above the measurements aren't exact inches and the tiles need to fit snug or they can pinch toes.
I plan to do tile on everything else fleece including the top level, but I just have been thinking and I won't get her till spring and im afraid that it might get too hot for her...
Could I do cardboard instead of buying the plastic sheets?
 

Amethyst

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I plan to do tile on everything else fleece including the top level, but I just have been thinking and I won't get her till spring and im afraid that it might get too hot for her...
Could I do cardboard instead of buying the plastic sheets?
I wouldn't do cardboard because if the chin pees on the tiles it would get soggy, so you would have to change the cardboard every time the chin pees on the tile. The point of the plastic sheet is to give it a solid platform for the tile to sit on as well as it's easy to wipe clean and prevents the pee from dripping onto the floor. You could do a sheet of stainless steel under the tile instead of plastic if you want, but plastic sheeting is much cheaper.

The room should be kept cool so it shouldn't be an issue to use fleece, tile does not replace the need for AC if it's warm out. Tile is for additional cooling in an already cool room, if the temp is much above 70 it doesn't matter if you have fleece or tile it's too hot. You can do tile if you want, but it is much cheaper to just put some tiles on top of the fleece, and that way the chin can choose if they want to stand on fleece or tile. Also as I mentioned your chin needs to be litter trained in order to use tile for the whole floor, otherwise the chin will get covered in pee. So I would litter train the chin before tiling the cage if you want to go with just tiles for the floor. Keep in mind that not all chins can or want to be litter trained.
 

ChinsForLife

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What if my dad built wooden replacement trays for the tile to go in? Can't you seal the tile somehow? I mean where the urine wouldn't go between the cracks...
 
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ChinsForLife

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I wouldn't do cardboard because if the chin pees on the tiles it would get soggy, so you would have to change the cardboard every time the chin pees on the tile. The point of the plastic sheet is to give it a solid platform for the tile to sit on as well as it's easy to wipe clean and prevents the pee from dripping onto the floor. You could do a sheet of stainless steel under the tile instead of plastic if you want, but plastic sheeting is much cheaper.

The room should be kept cool so it shouldn't be an issue to use fleece, tile does not replace the need for AC if it's warm out. Tile is for additional cooling in an already cool room, if the temp is much above 70 it doesn't matter if you have fleece or tile it's too hot. You can do tile if you want, but it is much cheaper to just put some tiles on top of the fleece, and that way the chin can choose if they want to stand on fleece or tile. Also as I mentioned your chin needs to be litter trained in order to use tile for the whole floor, otherwise the chin will get covered in pee. So I would litter train the chin before tiling the cage if you want to go with just tiles for the floor. Keep in mind that not all chins can or want to be litter trained.
I have an AC but I still better safe than sorry. The weather is crazy in spring here! We have alot of blackouts due to severe thunderstorms. I want tile as a plan b. We have a generator but it could go off while we were in town.
 

Amethyst

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What if my dad built wooden replacement trays for the tile to go in? Can't you seal the tile somehow? I mean where the urine wouldn't go between the cracks...
If you get glazed ceramic tile you don't need to worry about sealing the tile. You can try to find a non toxic grout and grout sealer, maybe one for use in kitchens? Then just have to hope the chin doesn't try to eat it. Caulking, the chin would definitely eat since it's soft so that is not an option. Grouting and sealing takes about a week to set up (depending on what one you use), a couple days for the grout to fully cure (depending on how humid it is where you are doing the work, could be longer) and then a few days for the sealer to dry. Grout also needs to be resealed regularly, I think at least once a year (maybe more since I don't know if pee would eat away at the sealer), during that time the chin can't be anywhere near the cage, so you will have to find somewhere else for the chin to be caged while that is being done. If you can do that then you can use wood as the base, probably glue it to the wood so the tile doesn't more and crack, causing bits that the chin could eat. One thing to keep in mind though is if the tiles ever chip or crack, which is not uncommon since chins like to throw things around, they need to be replaces as soon as possible or they can cut the chin's feet or pee can soak into the tile. If they are all grouted together the whole floor will probably need to be replaced and you will have to do the whole process over. With tiles just sitting on the floor you can easily remove any broken or chipped tiles and replace just them as needed. I mean it's up to you, if you want the added expense and work of doing the grouting and upkeep.

I have an AC but I still better safe than sorry. The weather is crazy in spring here! We have alot of blackouts due to severe thunderstorms. I want tile as a plan b. We have a generator but it could go off while we were in town.
OK, once again tile does not replace a cool room. Having the whole cage floor tiled is not going to really do any more good then just having some tiles for the chin to sit on, only tiling the cage and grouting it is a lot more expensive and a lot more work. A much better idea would be to have tiles you can remove and store at least a couple in the fridge so you can switch tiles out for cold ones if the AC is out do to a power outage. If you are heading out and it's a warm day you can put a few cold tiles from the fridge into the cage in case the power goes out. If you grout and seal all the tiles into one solid floor you can't take it out to cool it.
During a power outage you can put some tiles in a cooler with some ice and change them out as they warm up, depending on the temp every half hour to an hour. You can also put bottles of water in the freezer and wrap them in fleece (so the chin can't chew them) to put in the cage for added cooling. You can also make something like this Keeping chinchillas cool for cooling if the power is out. If the power is out of more then a day when it's hot though you will likely need to find a hotel or some where that has AC to take them to. These tricks are only really for temporary cooling, like for a few hours.

One other thing I was thinking about, with a tile floor it wont be as safe for a kit as fleece. Kits climb and like to climb the cage and then jump down, a bad landing on tile will be much worse and more likely end in an expensive vet visit (or worse) then falling on to soft fleece. Most chins outgrown climbing the cage as they get to be adults though.
 

ChinsForLife

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If you get glazed ceramic tile you don't need to worry about sealing the tile. You can try to find a non toxic grout and grout sealer, maybe one for use in kitchens? Then just have to hope the chin doesn't try to eat it. Caulking, the chin would definitely eat since it's soft so that is not an option. Grouting and sealing takes about a week to set up (depending on what one you use), a couple days for the grout to fully cure (depending on how humid it is where you are doing the work, could be longer) and then a few days for the sealer to dry. Grout also needs to be resealed regularly, I think at least once a year (maybe more since I don't know if pee would eat away at the sealer), during that time the chin can't be anywhere near the cage, so you will have to find somewhere else for the chin to be caged while that is being done. If you can do that then you can use wood as the base, probably glue it to the wood so the tile doesn't more and crack, causing bits that the chin could eat. One thing to keep in mind though is if the tiles ever chip or crack, which is not uncommon since chins like to throw things around, they need to be replaces as soon as possible or they can cut the chin's feet or pee can soak into the tile. If they are all grouted together the whole floor will probably need to be replaced and you will have to do the whole process over. With tiles just sitting on the floor you can easily remove any broken or chipped tiles and replace just them as needed. I mean it's up to you, if you want the added expense and work of doing the grouting and upkeep.


OK, once again tile does not replace a cool room. Having the whole cage floor tiled is not going to really do any more good then just having some tiles for the chin to sit on, only tiling the cage and grouting it is a lot more expensive and a lot more work. A much better idea would be to have tiles you can remove and store at least a couple in the fridge so you can switch tiles out for cold ones if the AC is out do to a power outage. If you are heading out and it's a warm day you can put a few cold tiles from the fridge into the cage in case the power goes out. If you grout and seal all the tiles into one solid floor you can't take it out to cool it.
During a power outage you can put some tiles in a cooler with some ice and change them out as they warm up, depending on the temp every half hour to an hour. You can also put bottles of water in the freezer and wrap them in fleece (so the chin can't chew them) to put in the cage for added cooling. You can also make something like this Keeping chinchillas cool for cooling if the power is out. If the power is out of more then a day when it's hot though you will likely need to find a hotel or some where that has AC to take them to. These tricks are only really for temporary cooling, like for a few hours.

One other thing I was thinking about, with a tile floor it wont be as safe for a kit as fleece. Kits climb and like to climb the cage and then jump down, a bad landing on tile will be much worse and more likely end in an expensive vet visit (or worse) then falling on to soft fleece. Most chins outgrown climbing the cage as they get to be adults though.
Ok thank you!
 

ChinsForLife

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If you get glazed ceramic tile you don't need to worry about sealing the tile. You can try to find a non toxic grout and grout sealer, maybe one for use in kitchens? Then just have to hope the chin doesn't try to eat it. Caulking, the chin would definitely eat since it's soft so that is not an option. Grouting and sealing takes about a week to set up (depending on what one you use), a couple days for the grout to fully cure (depending on how humid it is where you are doing the work, could be longer) and then a few days for the sealer to dry. Grout also needs to be resealed regularly, I think at least once a year (maybe more since I don't know if pee would eat away at the sealer), during that time the chin can't be anywhere near the cage, so you will have to find somewhere else for the chin to be caged while that is being done. If you can do that then you can use wood as the base, probably glue it to the wood so the tile doesn't more and crack, causing bits that the chin could eat. One thing to keep in mind though is if the tiles ever chip or crack, which is not uncommon since chins like to throw things around, they need to be replaces as soon as possible or they can cut the chin's feet or pee can soak into the tile. If they are all grouted together the whole floor will probably need to be replaced and you will have to do the whole process over. With tiles just sitting on the floor you can easily remove any broken or chipped tiles and replace just them as needed. I mean it's up to you, if you want the added expense and work of doing the grouting and upkeep.


OK, once again tile does not replace a cool room. Having the whole cage floor tiled is not going to really do any more good then just having some tiles for the chin to sit on, only tiling the cage and grouting it is a lot more expensive and a lot more work. A much better idea would be to have tiles you can remove and store at least a couple in the fridge so you can switch tiles out for cold ones if the AC is out do to a power outage. If you are heading out and it's a warm day you can put a few cold tiles from the fridge into the cage in case the power goes out. If you grout and seal all the tiles into one solid floor you can't take it out to cool it.
During a power outage you can put some tiles in a cooler with some ice and change them out as they warm up, depending on the temp every half hour to an hour. You can also put bottles of water in the freezer and wrap them in fleece (so the chin can't chew them) to put in the cage for added cooling. You can also make something like this Keeping chinchillas cool for cooling if the power is out. If the power is out of more then a day when it's hot though you will likely need to find a hotel or some where that has AC to take them to. These tricks are only really for temporary cooling, like for a few hours.

One other thing I was thinking about, with a tile floor it wont be as safe for a kit as fleece. Kits climb and like to climb the cage and then jump down, a bad landing on tile will be much worse and more likely end in an expensive vet visit (or worse) then falling on to soft fleece. Most chins outgrown climbing the cage as they get to be adults though.
If my dad built a wooden replacement tray then could he just get the tiles cut to fit tightly in the wood? So no sealing? And I could get glazed ceramic...
 

ChinsForLife

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I may do fleece... idk. Just exploring different options and trying to get all the info on each one before I decide. That is a good point... they could fall..😕 I just keep thinking about my friends cage...the fleece smelled horrible. Idk, she's not a good pet owner.😳 I went over to her house one time and her fish tank was green!! Like....BAD!!! 3 fish died while I was there. She said she cleans it every 6 months!!😮 The next time I saw her, (a year later) she said all of her fish mysteriously died!😑
 

Amethyst

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If my dad built a wooden replacement tray then could he just get the tiles cut to fit tightly in the wood? So no sealing? And I could get glazed ceramic...
well you would still need something between the wood and tile, you don't want pee sitting under the tiles on the wood, it would get moldy or rot the wood, at best it would just get smelly over time. You could maybe make a wood frame around the tile to fit the tile, and the wood would also act as a poop guard (the poop will still go everywhere though but should help anyway). If you get bigger tiles then that would help so less pee ends up under, you could use something like puppy pads on the wood under the tiles, and then just change those out.

I may do fleece... idk. Just exploring different options and trying to get all the info on each one before I decide. That is a good point... they could fall..😕 I just keep thinking about my friends cage...the fleece smelled horrible. Idk, she's not a good pet owner.😳 I went over to her house one time and her fish tank was green!! Like....BAD!!! 3 fish died while I was there. She said she cleans it every 6 months!!😮 The next time I saw her, (a year later) she said all of her fish mysteriously died!😑
That's horrible, those poor fish. :(

Yeah if you go with fleece and the chin isn't litter trained it may need to be changes as often as once a day, think of it like having to change the bedding in a puppy whelping box. It really comes down to the chin though, some apparently have worse smelling pee then others (their poop should be dry and odorless unless they are sick). My current two I switched to fleece for them when I got my Ferret Nation cage, and at the time I didn't even know about litter training. I could go a few days before it would smell of pee, and that is with two peeing on the fleece. Even if I pushed it to a week before cleaning (NOT advised since you run the risk of bacteria growth and the fleece getting really gross which can attract flies) the fleece smelled about as bad as a cat litter box that a cat just peed in. So I would say the fleece needs changing at least twice a week, the poos and any peed on hay needs to be removed daily though. My guys use the litter box most of the time, but still pee on the fleece sometimes too, so I'm able to go about a week between changing the fleece before it smells.
 

Amethyst

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Here is an example of a cage I saw that someone used 3 large tiles for the floor with poop guards around the edge, there is a sheet of corrugated plastic under the tile.

TileFloor.jpg
 
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